Archive for the The Alignment Game Category

The Alignment Game — Neutral Good: Robin of Locksley As Seen In Most Depictions Of Him

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Roleplaying Games, RPG, Satire, The Alignment Game with tags on March 2, 2011 by Chall

If Robin of Locksely doesn’t ring a bell his moniker should: Robin Hood. If Robin Hood doesn’t ring a bell then I beg you to come out of the rock you’ve been raised and currently reside under, the world’s not that bad.

It's okay, you don't have to be afraid of his hat.

This man is my definition of Neutral Good.

Wait, I sense a great disturbance on the net, as if millions of gamers suddenly cried foul. I can see where they’re coming from. Heck I remember that Robin Hood was the poster boy of Chaotic Good in good old 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons  (that’s AD&D not ADD).; Robin Hood is a thief so obviously he’s chaotic, he also fights tyranny so he’s obviously good. At first glance I agree he would be the prefect example of Chaotic Good but . . .

The Neutral Part

Robin of Locksely only became a thief because King John was being a dick.

So much so that this was in the third row of images when I googled King John.

Since the rule of law had turned into the rule of a greedy, stupid man Locksley did the only sensible thing and fought it. This is a major part of what made him famous. I doubt many would remember Locksely the Lawful who never rocked the boat. However, what we must remember is that as soon as King Richard came back Mr. Hood became Mr. Rogers, a perfect law abiding nobleman who once again took taxes from his people to support the Monarchy.

This is as best a description of Neutral as you can get. Neutral characters will bend to law or chaos in order to strengthen the other part of their alignment. Robin Hood ditched law only as long as necessary. When goodness (lets let charming fable paint over the atrocities of Richard’s Cursades) returned to the land the Bandit of Sherwood turned in his bow to protect the status quo.

The Good Part

The other thing Robin of Locksley was famous for was robbing from the rich to give to the poor. These days this would make him a left wing, pinko, commie, bleeding heart, liberal but in his day this was considered “Thank you sir, my family and I will no longer starve to death.” In fact, as popular legend tells it, he constantly risked his life for the betterment of his people. This is about as good as you get without being a saint.

In Closing

That’s my case for Robin Hood being Neutral Good rather than Chaotic Good. Most will probalby disagree, if so get your own blog. This one’s mine.

I like comments though. 🙂

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The Alignment Game — Lawful Good: Wong Fie Hung as Seen In Once Upon a Time In China

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Philosophy, Roleplaying Games, RPG, The Alignment Game with tags on January 1, 2011 by Chall

The “Once Upon a Time In China” part is important. According to Wikipedia: “Wong Fei-hung (July 9, 1847-May 24, 1924)[2] was a Chinese martial artist, a traditional Chinese medicine physician, acupuncturist and revolutionary . . . ” a revolutionary does not a lawful person make. However, Jet Li’s rendition of him in Once Upon a Time In China paints Wong Fie Hung as a man who is a righteous defender of order; in my opinion he’s ‘the Chinese answer to Captain America.’

We need to go back in time and freeze this man in ice so he can battle Dr. Doom

The Lawful Part

In Once Upon a Time In China Wong Fie Hung, a doctor of both medicine and the exquisite art of kicking your ass, is entrusted to train the young men of his city how to fight off the greedy foreign devils. Being a glowing beacon of everything that is good Wong Fie Hung agrees. However, the evil Shaho gang and the foreigners are up to shenanigans. They cause shit, Wong Fie Hung has to put it down. In the process there is a slight altercation with the guards. When the Governor has Wong Fie Hung arrested his followers ask him not to go. He glances at them like their idiots and declares something along the lines of “China is a land of laws!” and lets himself get arrested.

Later, while he’s in jail, he’s told the woman loves is about to be sold as a sex slave to the Americans.

Now at this point even Superman would be like:

Fuck this shit.

Not Wong Fie Hung. He stayed put; it sucked but it’s the law and there is no “Wong Fie Hung” in the word hypocrite. At this stage the guards decided to let him go because the vileness of the sex slave trade outweighed the slim benefits of keeping a paragon of justice in jail.

The Good Part

Wong Fie Hung’s primary motivation is the people. His fellow countrymen first but anyone else who’s not a douche a close second. If hungry Wong Fie Hung will feed you, if wounded Wong Fie Hung will heal you, if being chased by Cobra he’ll open up some old school kung fu on the terrorists. He won’t charge either. Well maybe his usual doctor’s fee but if you can’t afford it something can be worked out.

In Closing

IMO Wong Fie Hung, as played by Jet Li in Once Upon a Time in China, is a Lawful Good avatar. He’s bound by a strict code of justice and he’ll lend a hand to anyone in trouble. Furthermore he’s humble about it. He’s no arrogant paladin. He’s great due to virtue and skill and this needs no promotion. He doesn’t need to say he’s THE Good Guy, people just figure it out thanks to his manner and actions.

That and he has a totally awesome theme song.

The Alignment Game Introduction

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Philosophy, Roleplaying Games, RPG, Satire, The Alignment Game with tags on November 23, 2010 by Chall

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Second Edition was a BIG part of my childhood. From grade school to high school it was the RPG of choice period. Some weirdos, like me, dabbled in GURPS and West End’s Star Wars but all the hard core, Salt of the Earth, gamers played AD&D or Shadowrun and that was that.

You know. . .come to think of it, I’m playing in two 3rd Ed. games and a Pathfinder Game and nothing else right now so I suppose things haven’t changed.

Huh.

Going to have to shake things up with Knights of the Hidden Sun.

Anyways. . . I’m dedicating a series of posts to this game I have loved and do love so much. I call these posts the Alignment Game.

All incarnations of D&D I’m familiar with make use of Alignments. The purpose of an Alignment is to tell the Good Guys from the Bad Guys. This is important in a game about Epic Fantasy. After all you need to know who is worthy to wield the holy sword and who will be the go-to guy of the Dark Lord Amuck. Alignments are also a handy tool for crafting pre-made adventures. It’s nice know before hand that the PCs will want to save the orphanage rather than burn it down for shits and giggles.

An Alignment places a character on a point between Law and Chaos and Good and Evil.

Lawful Characters: Respect order and follow the rules. They stand against Chaos.

Chaotic Characters: Respect change and freedom. They stand against Order.

Good Characters: Hold others as more important than themselves. They stand against Evil.

Evil Characters: Are supremely selfish. They stand against Good.

Neutral Characters: Balance these extremes.

Every D&D character has two of the above elements which means the possible Alignments are: Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil. This Alignment dictates how a character acts and how certain magics affect them. There are some spells that protect exclusively against evil characters. There are some weapons that do good characters harm. There are some places that inflict pain to chaotic types, there are others that will drive a lawful person insane.

The beautiful problem about this is there are may differing views on how alignments should work. Some say a Lawful Good character can’t jay-walk to save a damsel form getting run over by a maniticore. Others say that a True Neutral type will not pick his nose for fear of disturbing the cosmic balance. Others say a Chaotic Evil character must eat a puppy a day to be true to himself. The risk of course is if a character falls out of his Alignment his player will be teased by his friends for not being a good roleplayer and/or have his character lose a level or two due to ‘moral dilemma’.

These are serious problems but don’t worry, in this series of posts I will enlighten you with pure examples of characters from every type of Alignment. Read this and become wise. It goes without saying that my word outweighs that of even the creators of the D&D realm (Ed. Greenwood you’re not reading this are you?) for. . .

I AM CHALL!!!

 

 

Note: I am not being 100% serious for this series of posts so please don’t flame me bro.